Chapter 10

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C H A P T E R T E N


The next day, Zander walked in with my coffee in his hand at seven twenty in the morning. Michelle and I were leaning up against the lockers talking when I felt a tap on my shoulder. Michelle stared past my head in shock, her mouth open like a fish. I turned around to see him there with my coffee, in his usual disheveled uniform and leather jacket. For once, he had a backpack hanging off one of his shoulders.

I smirked as I took the steaming cup from him and said, "Oh this is too kind, you shouldn't have!"

"Yeah, yeah, whatever. See you at lunch." He walked past me with a gleam in his eye and a half smile on his lips. His dimple made my heart beat faster. I smiled and took a sip while Michelle continued to stare at me.

"Okay, what was that?" She gave me a look that said tell me now.

"Zander just lost a bet, and his consequence was that he had to bring me coffee this morning. And he's seeing me at lunch because lunch detention starts today."

Mick eyed me suspiciously. "Mhmm." She didn't seem to be believing what I was saying.

"What? That's the truth." I continued drinking the coffee while Mick kept staring at me.

"Okay, sure, whatever. I've got to go speak to my French teacher about something. See you later." She spun around and marched off down the hallway.

"Okay then, bye!" I called after her. Weird.

During second period, Archer sat down next to me and started whispering immediately.

"What's this I hear about Banks doing 'cute boyfriend stuff' for you?" He sounded pissed.

"Ugh, is that what Mick said? He lost a bet and had to bring me coffee this morning, and he'll be seeing me at lunch because we have lunch detention. It's completely platonic; we're barely even friends."

Archer kept looking at me suspiciously. Why was everyone doing that? He was always like another brother to me, which is exactly what I didn't need. I already had three protective brothers, I didn't need a best friend that acted like one. But I got one anyway.

"Just know that he's never up to any good. He's not a decent guy, that Banks. Not a decent guy at all."

"Alright, Archer! Give it a rest." Something about what he said made me angry. Zander was decent when he wanted to be.

He finally shut up, but kept throwing me looks all through class. I was glad when the bell rang and I could get away from him.

Lunch finally rolled around, and I found myself feeling anxious. Forty-five minutes of just sitting with Zander made me nervous. At work, we weren't often alone together or really even working at the same thing. The idea of an awkward situation made my stomach hurt a little, and I was brought back to the awkward time before Kyle. A place I never wanted to revisit. So I swallowed hard and walked into the main office with my lunch bag in hand.

Nobody was in there yet, and it made me feel strangely calmer. I would have been more on edge if I had walked in to see people staring at me. I took a seat in one of the desks they had outside of the principal's office an made myself comfortable. I was just taking out my sandwich when Zander walked in, five minutes late.

"You're late, Mr. Banks," I said in a playfully authoritative voice.

"Unlike you, Miss Trescott, I don't like getting to detention early." His voice was equally playful.

Just like that, my anxiety went away. Today, I got playful Zander. Playful Zander was fun and easy.

We bantered back and forth for the whole period. When the receptionist came back from her lunch, she would peer at us from behind her desk suspiciously. Like we were two teens who faked a big prank so we could have lunch together.

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